Trade Is an Engine of Growth for Turkey

May 22, 2014

To reach the 2023 export goals the focus should be on productivity

ANKARA, May 23, 2014 - The World Bank today launched a new report, “Turkey Country Economic Memorandum: Trading up to High Income”, at a conference held in Ankara  in partnership with the Ministry of Economy and the Undersecretariat of Treasury.

The report analyzes Turkey’s trade performance based on the Trade Competitiveness Diagnostics toolkit developed by the International Trade Department of the World Bank. 

The analysis confims that in the past decade Turkey increased its export competitiveness thanks to a shift in the export basket towards medium-tech and more sophisticated products, accompanied by higher export quality. But to reach the 2023 export targets, Turkey needs to get into high-tech products and move up the global value chains, to benefit from shifts in global demand and confront growing competition from other low-cost producers.  

The report suggests that this will require a multi-faceted approach squarely targeting increased productivity. The report recommends to: (i) focus policy on attracting more Foreign Direct Investment, a key conveyor of advanced technology and integration into global production networks; (ii) promote innovation, including by increasing business R&D investment and improving links between research and business applications; (iii) upgrade the skills both of the existing work force and of new entrants; and (iv) improve access to long-term financing and develop equity and venture capital markets, with a view to unlock the potential of the dynamic SME sector. Finally, regulatory reforms to make the services sector more competitive would not only boost services exports but also contribute to the competitiveness of goods exports.

“Trade is a key driver of growth in the transition to high income,” said Martin Raiser, World Bank Country Director for Turkey on the occasion of the launch. “The report suggests that horizontal policies to upgrade Turkey’s physical, human and institutional assets are the key to sustained export competitiveness.”

The report has been prepared in close partnership with the Ministry of Economy, and in consultations with other public agencies, the private sector and civil society. Comments and suggestions from all stakeholders on the findings of the report and related topics are welcome.


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